TNA Impact WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 8/12: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV "Whole F'n Show" [updated]
Aug 12, 2010 - 10:37:36 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: The big news is that TNA's most recent PPV outing was, from what I understand, almost as abysmal as its recent PPV buyrates. I have a lot of detailed suggestions for how TNA can save itself, but I forgot to ask either ask permission or write it. So for now, I'll propose a simple, albeit radical, suggestion. Remember that two month stretch at the end of 2009 when everyone knew Hogan was coming but no one had quite figured out what his role in the company would be yet, so the shows just sort of treaded water? And remember how that got us Wolfe vs. Angle and Joe vs. Styles vs. Daniels in a double main event in a six sided ring? Let's do that again. Just pretend that in two months, I don't know, Paul Heyman is coming. There's no way to plan big, long term arcs, and so you'll just kill time by making PPVs that are, y'know, good. Maybe you could actually listen to the fan voting and give us Hardy vs. RVD, or even (dare I even suggest it) Wolfe vs. RVD? That would be awesome. In the meanwhile, at least Impact has been decent; tonight has a packed card. Match 5 in the series between the Guns and Beer Money should be the sleeper of the night, though Angle vs. AJ could give it a run for it's money. Actually, if it weren't for the fact that it would be such a horrible admission about the awful, awful main event plot centered Abyss's weapons fetish, that should really be placed in the main event. As it is, we have (I would guess) Eric Bischoff's heel turn as he referee RVD vs. Abyss. That could be okay too.
The Show: The Whole F'n Show
Hulk Hogan will have a special surprise later. That can't be good. [NOTE: this turned out to be an under statement.]
(1)KURT ANGLE vs. AJ STYLES Kurt Angle Has For No Obvious Reason Said He'll Retire if He Loses Match
AJ pops Kurt to start, stomps him in the ropes, then tosses him from the ring. He follows him out, connecting with haymakers at ringside. AJ is sporting an "AJ" tattoo, but it doesn't keep him from walking right into a Release Overhead Belly-to-Belly Suplex. They roll back into the ring, where Angle hits a Tilt-a-Whirl Back Breaker for one. AJ hits a Mongolian Chop as he gets up, then tosses Kurt shoulder first into the ring post. Kurt's momentum carries him all the way to the outside, so AJ vaults the ropes with a beautiful forearm to Angle's head. He hits a couple knife edged chops, then rolls Angle back in. Angle comes back with straight rights, but when he goes for a Suplex AJ lands on his feet. Angle ducks a clothesline attempt but then runs right into the high dropkick for two. AJ cinches in a Chin Lock. Angle powers out, but when he tries to pick an ankle AJ kicks him off. Kurt goes behind and hits a back drop. The crowd is surprisingly split. Angle gets to his feet first and hits a series of clotheslines. He runs into a boot from AJ, but then retakes control with another Overhead Belly-to-Belly for two. Angle hits a trio of German Suplexes, but a cover only gets two. The crowd proclaims that this is wrestling. Angle again fails to pick an ankle. AJ charges, but Kurt Back Body Drops him over the ropes. AJ lands on the apron, pokes Angle in the eye, and then hits his Springboard Flying Forearm for two. AJ goes for a Styles Clash, but Kurt reverses into a Back Body Drop. Kurt tries to finish things with an Olympic Slam, but AJ slips out and nails the Pele for two. AJ slowly ascends to the top rope. Angle runs the ropes, but AJ sees him coming and jumps over him, but Angle sees that and hits a Moonsault to a standing AJ. Holy shit. Kurt briefly gets the Angle Lock, but AJ kicks him into the turnbuckles. AJ goes to the apron. Angle tries to block him, but AJ pokes his eyes, jumps to the middle rope, and flips over Angle to nail an Inverted DDT for two. AJ argues the count with Brian Hebner, which gives Kurt the chance to connect with an Olympic Slam for two. Kurt looks for a German, but AJ grabs the ropes. Brian Hebner goes to look, and AJ takes advantage of the distraction to back kick Angle in the groin—or at least to try. Angle catches the attempted low blow, cinches in the Angle Lock, and immediately grapevines the leg for game. AJ taps quickly.
WINNER: Kurt Angle in 9 minutes. ***1/4--great while it lasted.
(2)MADISON RAYNE vs. ANGELINA LOVE Knockouts Championship Match
Have they always referred to the title as the "Knockouts Ladies Title"? I never noticed it before. Rayne ducks behind the ref, then nails a cheap shot when Love comes after her. Love fires back. Rayne whips her into the corner. Love gets her boots up, but Rayne catches them and whips her around. She pounds Love's head against the mat a few times. A cover gets one. She hits a Swinging Neck Breaker, then twists Love between her knees and pounds her face into the mat a few more times. A couple of covers get two. She argues the count a bit, which enables Love to nail a sort of cross between a Jaw Breaker and a Ura-Nage. She hits a series of clotheslines and forearms, taking Rayne off her feet. Love hits a Superkick, when Motorcycle Lady rides down to ringside. She looks taller than Tara to me, but that's the buzz. Suddenly Velvet Sky whacks Motorcycle Lady with a chair. She rips off the helmet, but there's a mask underneath. Rayne somehow gets a cover for two. She tries to follow up with an Ozone, but Love reverses it into Lights Out for three.
WINNER (and new champion): Angelina Love in four minutes. Technically this title switch was more legit than any of the last four (lottery, tag match, referee's decision, reversal of referee's decision), but it was still inconsequential BS. How much money could Awesome Kong want?
Mr. Anderson hits the top of the ramp and greets the assholes and gentlemen. I think it's stupid too, but damn is that over. He hails from Green Bay Wisconsin, so maybe he'll pick up some of the cheddar on the way to the ring (did we miss Dinero's entrance?). He gets the crowd to join into loudly for his name.
(3)MATT MORGAN vs. D'ANGELO DINERO vs. MR. ANDERSON Triple Threat Match
The crowd is telling someone they still suck, but I'm honestly not sure whom. Dinero and Anderson share a look, then tee off on Matt Morgan. Dinero's fists fly at Morgan in the corner. Anderson dropkicks Morgan's knee against the ropes. Dinero hits an STO, but then he goes to the cover and Anderson has to break it up. They trade covers for a good 20 seconds. Morgan gets up. He tries to goozle both men—it doesn't work, but he does connect with a double clothesline. Pope dodges an attempted Carbon Footprint, and Morgan ends up crotching himself on the ropes. Anderson helps by shaking the top rope, but then Morgan shoves Pope back into Anderson. Pope comes back with a Missile Dropkick that knocks Morgan to the floor. Pope goes to check on Anderson, who slugs him. They trade blows, till Anderson connects with a Lou Thesz Press for two. He looks for the Green Bay Plunge, but Pope slips out and hits his uppercut. Pope lowers the knee pads, but Anderson blocks the attempted Code Breaker and connects with the Mic Check. Morgan breaks up the cover at two and then slides into a pin for 3.
WINNER: Matt Morgan in four minutes. I'm not sure what the point of that was, and I don't like the result, but the action was decent.
Jeff Hardy's open challenge is up next.
Jeff Hardy's out first, to face who I can only assume will be some washed-up former ECW wrestler. Let's hope for Sabu.
Shannon Moore hits the ramp, but he has a mic. He notes that Jeff looks a little bit shocked. He says that he couldn't imagine a better night to prove that he can stand on the same pedestal with one of the best in the world, Jeff Hardy. But win lose or draw, they'll leave tonight as brothers. Tenay and Taz plug Vampires Suck, since Moore is sporting that T-Shirt. Wow—could DILLIGAF be any more meaningless?
(4)JEFF HARDY vs. SHANNON MOORE
They share a handshake to start, then trade wrist locks. Moore transitions to a side headlock, then takes Hardy down with a shoulder block. Hardy comes back with an Arm Drag, Moore responds with one of his own, and then they share the stare of mutual respect. They lock up. Moore backs Hardy into the corner, then kicks him in the gut. He sends Hardy to the corner opposite, but Hardy floats over and connects with another Arm Drag and his inverted Ensuguri. Moore runs away, ducking from corner to corner, eventually sidestepping and sending Hardy sprawling out of the ring. Moore hits a Somersault Plancha onto Hardy, and the crowd goes nuts. He rolls Hardy into the ring, then climbs to the top rope. He catches Hardy with a Moonsault as he gets up. Moore hits a Snap Suplex for two, then locks in a Sleeper. Hardy powers out, but Moore slows him down with a knee lift. Hardy whips Moore into the corner, but when he charges he gets elevated out and over the ropes. He lands on the apron, but Moore flips over him and looks for a Sunset Flip. Hardy clings to the ropes, so Moore swipes his legs out instead. Moore lets Hardy get up, then charges. Hardy elevates Moore up, but he bounces off the ropes and comes back with a twisting Head Scissors. This is the best Moore has looked in years. He rolls Hardy in for a long two count. He goes for a chin lock, then hits some more knees. He tries to whip Jeff into the corner, but Jeff catches himself and connects with a clothesline. He hits a few more strikes. Moore whips him into the corner, but he comes back with Whisper in the Wind for a long two. Jeff nails the twist of fate, then rips off his shirt. He goes to the top rope, but Moore gets his legs up just in time to block the Swanton Bomb. Moore gets a long two count. He sets Hardy up on the top rope, which doesn't strike me as a good idea. He hits some punches to Hardy's face, then goes for a Frankensteiner. Hardy shoves him off and nails the Swanton Bomb for three.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy in eight minutes. That was rock solid. ***
Up next is Beer Money vs. The Motor City Machine Guns in a 2/3 falls match.
Shannon Moore raises Hardy's arm in the ring.
(5)THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (c) vs. BEER MONEY INC. 2 Out of 3 Falls, Match 5 of 5, Tag Team Championship Match
Storm starts things off with a quick eye poke, then wrenches Sabin's arm. Sabin tries to flip out, but Storm yanks him down by the hair. Sabin comes off the ropes, but Storm stops him with a shoulder block. They trade quick sweeps and covers, then both go for kicks at the same time. They catch each other, and, after a couple of head fakes, just slowly let each other down and back off. This has a huge match atmosphere, as the crowd goes nuts. Roode and Shelley tag in, and the crowd is all about Shelley. Roode backs Shelley into a corner and hits a straight right, but Shelley comes back with chops. Roode gets some distance with a rake of the eyes, but Shelley comes right back with a series of shoulder blocks. He hits a back leg sweep and a twisting Head Scissors, but then runs right into a Tilt-a-Whirl Back Breaker for two. He goes behind Shelley, but Sabin tags himself in. Roode goes for a cover on Shelley, not realizing that he's no longer legal. Sabin comes off the rope and slams Roode's face against the mat. Storm comes in, but they quickly sandwhich him between kicks, then nail the Front Face Lock Dropkick on Roode. A cover gets two. Roode hits a knee as he gets up, which enables him to make the tag. Storm comes in firing, but Sabin shoves him off. Roode yanks Sabin out of the ring, then fakes a tag in. Brian Hebner, in a rare moment of consistency, refuses to recognize a tag he didn't see, so Storm comes back in. Storm beats down Sabin in the corner, then really does tag Roode in. Roode Body Slams Sabin, Storm drops an elbow, and then Roode drops a knee. Shelley runs in and pokes Roode in the eye before he can get three. Sabin connects with three right hands as he gets up. Roode whips him into the corner. He floats over, but slips before he can make the tag. Roode grabs a leg, but Sabin nails him with an Ensuguri and makes the tag. Roode charges Shelley, who Flatliners him into the middle turnbuckle. He sees Storm running at him, so he nails a Matt Hardy-style dual Bulldog/Clothesline. Storm breaks up the cover at two. Roode tries to catapult Shelley into a Back Stabber (or maybe a DDT), but Shelley clotheslines Storm instead, and Sabin assists with a simultaneous Missile Dropkick/Flatliner/DDT. Holy shit. It only gets two though. Sabin tosses Storm to the apron, then sweeps his legs. Shelley slingshots into a Double Foot Stomp on the apron. Roode takes Sabin down with a Big Boot, but then Shelley draws him over to the ropes, where Sabin dropkicks him out of the ring. Shelley hits a Suicide dive on Roode as Storm runs the ropes and jumps over him to hit a Cross Body Block on Storm. They roll Roode into the ring, but Storm catches up with Sabin and DDTs him on the apron. Shelley goes to the top rope. Roode runs up, but Shelley fights him off. Roode rolls out of the way of a Double Foot Stomp. He nails a Gut Buster, Storm rolls in and nails a Back Stabber, and then they nail the DWI for the first pin fall of the match. Awesome. A quick try for a second cover though only gets two. Storm tags in and stomps Shelley, then tags back in Roode. They nail the Beer Money Suplex. While they taunt the crowd, Shelley just tags out. Again: awesome. Sabin comes in with a double dropkick off the top rope. He tosses Storm from the ring, then Roode into the corner. He tags back in Shelley so that they can nail their double team Neck Breaker/Frog Splash for the second fall. It's good that they didn't drag out the obvious fall. Sabin tries to punt Roode's head from the apron to the floor, but Roode yanks his legs out from under him. Roode then rolls into the ring to elevate Storm over the top rope and onto Sabin. Shelley tries to whip him into the ropes, but he reverses. Shelley just keeps going though, flying between the ropes to nail a Suicide Dive on Storm on the outside. Roode, apparently lonely, nails a Somersault Plancha onto all three men on the outside. Yet again: awesome.
Roode is clotheslining Sabin's head off in the ring when we get back. Shelley charges him, but Roode catches him and Storm assists with a sort of swinging Ura-Nage. Roode takes Shelley into the corner, where he works a couple of slow strikes. He tags in Storm, then hits a charge in the corner on his way out. Storm follows up with one of his own, then sets Shelley up on the top rope. Shelley knocks him down into a Tree of Woe. When Storm tries to look up Shelley nails a Double Foot Stomp to his chest. Both men tag out. Sabin hits a trio of quick flying forearms. Roode takes him into the corner, but he gets a boot up and then connects with a Hurricanrana. He kicks Storms legs off the apron, runs up Roode to go to the apron himself, then comes back in with a Slingshot Impaler DDT. Hole. Y. Shit. Roode tags out. Beer Money tries a double team, but Sabin kicks back Roode, then hits a twisting DDT that takes down Storm and kicks Roode out of the ring. A double team Roll of the Dice type move gets a really long two count. Sabin low kicks Storm, then Shelley Superkicks him, but Storm Superkicks right back. Sabin nails a Standing Ensuguri, but then turns around into the Spine Buster from Roode. He catapults Sabin into a DDT. Shelley runs in and looks for Sliced Bread #2 on Roode, but Storm catches him and they nail a sort of Shock Treatment. Shelley rolls out of the ring. Beer Money look for another DWI, but Sabin fights it off. Storm tries to take him down with a Superkick, but Sabin sidesteps and Storm nails Roode. Shelley assists with stereo Superkicks. They nail the Neck Breaker/Frog Splash on Storm for 1...2...NO!!! Shelley goes back up to the top rope, and they do the same thing again. That's over.
WINNERS: The Motor City Machine Guns in 19 minutes. Angle vs. Anderson in a steel cage is no longer TNA's entrant for Match of the Year. That was quite probably the best match in TNA since the original Joe vs. Daniels vs. Styles. ****3/4
(6)ROB VAN DAM vs. ABYSS TNA World Heavyweight Championship "Stairway to Janice Match" (ugh) w/Special Guest Referee Eric Bischoff
If you're wondering what the rules to this match are, I wouldn't bother. I doubt they'll matter. Janice is suspended above the ring, so Abyss brings a ladder into the ring with him. He starts to climb before RVD's entrance, so RVD rushes the ring and sidekicks down the ladder. RVD nails a bunch of mounted punches in the corner. Abyss goes for a Big Boot, but RVD catches it and does his variant of an Ensuguri. He grabs the ladder and rams it into Abyss's abdomen, then he does it again. He lays the ladder down, Spinning Heel Kicks Abyss, then Bulldogs him into the ladder. He goes for Rolling Thunder, but Abyss gets out of the way and he gets nothing but steel. Abyss rolls out of the ring, and RVD kicks the ladder out after him.
Abyss finishes setting a ladder bridge up between the ring and the guard rail. RVD thrusts a shoulder at him between the ropes, but Abyss stops him with a knee. Abyss pulls RVD out to the apron, and goozles him for a Choke Slam. Van Dam kicks Abyss in the face, so all Abyss can do is clothesline him back into the ring. He comes into the ring too and grabs the second ladder, which he rams into RVD's sternum twice. He sandwhiches RVD between the ladder and the corner, then charges. RVD flings the ladder at him though. They both reach for the ladder at the same time, but RVD is quicker and backs Abyss into the corner. He runs up the ladder and kicks Abyss in the face. Abyss falls on the ladder against the mat, and RVD hits him with a quick Moonsault. He sets the ladder up in one corner and Abyss up in another, but when he goes for the Extreme Monkey Flip Abyss catches him and slams him to the mat. Abyss sets up the ladder in the middle of the ring. RVD climbs the other side, and they trade right hands at the top. RVD slams Abyss's head into the top of the ladder, but Abyss then Choke Slams him off. Abyss then "falls" (read: jumps) off the ladder too, knocking it over. He goes under the ring and grabs his bag of tacks. Actually it turns out to be a bag of tacks and glass, which Abyss sets out by the corner. He then puts RVD up on the top rope on that same corner and looks for a Superplex. RVD fights him off with rights and headbutts, then Sunset Flips Abyss back into the tacks and glass. Both men are up. RVD connects with some rights, but then runs into a Big Boot from Abyss. Abyss pulls a board covered in barbed wire out from under the ring. He sets it up in the corner, but that buys RVD enough time to retake control with some shots. Abyss tries to whip RVD into the barbed wire, but Rob sidesteps and shoves Abyss into it. Abyss is still tangled with the barbed wire as he gets out of the corner, so RVD hits a sidekick off the middle rope into the board into Abyss. Abyss falls with the board on top of him, so RVD Rolling Thunders onto it. Ouch. RVD climbs the ladder and reaches for Janice, but Abyss pushes the ladder over and...ahhh!!! In what was either a screw-up or a great illusion, it appears that RVD's chin lands right on the edge of the ladder bridge outside the ring. Abyss takes the time to climb the ladder and get Janice...which he then puts down. How odd. He rolls RVD back into the ring, possibly onto the glass and thumb tacks. He beats RVD down in that corner. He picks up Janice, signals to Dixie Carter, and then takes a big swing. RVD dodges, and Janice gets stuck in the turnbuckle. While he tries to get it out, RVD gets a chair from the outside. He whacks Abyss in the back, tosses him the chair, then Van Daminators him into the barbed wire board. He looks at Janice, but then goes back for the chair. He sets the board up against Abyss in the corner, then goes to another corner with the chair and Van Terminators the chair into the board into Abyss. He follows up with a Five Star Frog Splash, and that's it.
WINNER: RVD in 18 minutes. A lot of people will hate the gratuitous violence, but I think it's fine in the occasional main event (particularly when there are no head shots involved). The barbed wire was pretty well used, but Janice is just silly and really distracted from what should have been a great fight. I'm not sure what the point of having Bischoff out there was either, as it was just another distraction. The core was pretty entertaining though. ***1/2
Hogan starts to come to the ring, where RVD is still celebrating.
Hogan is in the ring, and RVD is still there. Hogan says that he thinks that everyone in "TNA World" knows why this guy (RVD) is our leader. Hogan's been around the world and seen them all, but he's never seen an athlete and a champion like this. He's the hood ornament, and he's driving TNA straight to the top. When he saw RVD in the ring with Sabu, whom he considers the most dangerous man alive, he knew they had the right guy. When Hogan watched RVD in the main event and Rhino Gore the hell out of someone, and "The Dreamer" do his thing, that gave TNA the shot of adrenaline he needed. With all that being said, Dixie Carter, the #1 beautiful lady in TNA, invited RVD's buddies back tonight, and they watched RVD defend his title, and Hulk would like to invite them out right now. They (mostly) all come out, culminating in Sabu, whom the crowd goes nuts for. Hulk says that when he came to TNA he was looking for that higher ground, and somewhere even Hulk Hogan had never been. Last Sunday they went there. Hogan says he bows to them all, and is happy to give them the ring. Dreamer agrees that they raised the bar, and that tonight The Guns, Beer Money, Abyss and RVD proved that they could top that. He thanks Dixie Carter, then thanks everyone else. He also thanks each and every one of us. Seriously, he loves us guys. The lights go out. Taz and Tenay think that it's Sandman. When they come back up Mick Foley has been laid out. Fourtune, with Matt Morgan, are bearing weapons, and they beat the hell out of everyone. Raven runs down to the ring, but Storm pops him with a beer bottle before we can find out who's side he's on. Sandman slowly meanders in through the crowd, but doesn't effect much of a rescue. Storm uses a broken beer bottle shard to cut the hell out of Guido. EV 2.0 are all busted open. Fourtune undoes hours of goodwill by hitting approximately 94 unprotected chair shots to various people. Ric Flair comes out, and starts razzing Dixie Carter. We cut to the back, where Abyss has taken RVD. RVD is drenched in blood, as is Janice. It's funny how the weapon that Abyss has never successfully used in plain sight was somehow utilized as soon as he was off camera. We fade to black, hyping Reaction.
Where We're Going: After a night of amazing wrestling and pretty great brawling, let's start a questionable Fourtune takeover by beating up a bunch of retired wrestlers. Oh, and let's do it in a horrible horror-movie style backstage segment. Yay?
Star of the Night: The Motor City Machine Guns. Duh.
Overall: So I'm really grateful to TNA for that last segment, and here's why. A few weeks ago I gave the show a rather generous A on the strength of a heartfelt Dreamer promo. Then this week happened, and we saw Angle and AJ rule, RVD and Abyss put together one hell of a brawl, and The Guns and Beer Money being, like AJ, simply phenomenal. I don't have a lot of critical cred, but I didn't want to lose what little I had by going for another A. I didn't see how I could avoid it though. Then the last segment happened, and wow was it awful. Those who thought RVD vs. Abyss had gratuitous violence probably had fits here. There was unprotected chair shot after unprotected chair shot—take that, future loved ones! But still, stupid brawls are stupid brawls, and it doesn't really ruin a whole show. Then we had the dramatic, ill lit camera shot of RVD drenched in blood, and it was over. It reminded me of what Mick Foley said about the overhead crane shot in his Halftime Heat match—it just took me right out of the show. Really, after missing with Janice on at least 6 occasions, he happens to connect just when we're not looking? Also, once the match is over, doesn't that become attempted murder? It was just D-level garbage, and not worthy of any more comment than that. It does make it damn near impossible to grade this show, which showed TNA at its very best in the tag match and its very worst in the Janice attack. So I just won't do it. The first part deserves an easy, ungenerous A, but the last segment was a spectacular F. Take your pick regarding which is more important.
Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. If anyone remembers what sort of buy-rate last November's PPV had, I'd be curious. The first person to send the answer will get a submissions and other comment can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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